10 Amazing Philly Record Stores to Shop This Weekend
Tomorrow is National Record Store Day, which gives us the perfect excuse to round up the best Philly record stores for your browsing pleasure. From impossible-to-find vinyl to the mustiest out-of-print books your heart could desire, these independent record stores are well worth the visit. Spend a little time this Saturday searching for the next record to add to your music trove – here’s a look at some of the releases to look out for – at these 10 amazing record shops.
Gold Million Records, Bryn Mawr
This longtime gem is owned by eccentric couple Max I. Million (yes, her real name) and Harold Gold, and deals mostly in vintage vinyl, with some new releases, random memorabilia and odd accessories. Go here for rock albums from the ’60s and ’70s, but keep an eye out for artwork by legendary album cover artist Cal Schenkel, longtime Frank Zappa collaborator. 851 West Lancaster Avenue.
Val Shivley R&B Records, Upper Darby
Don’t let the name fool you—this place has every record under the sun, or comes damn well close. One music-savvy coworker claims, “he’s said to have one of the best record collections in the world,” so you know it’s good. The catch? There’s no browsing allowed. But don’t be thrown by the place’s idiosyncrasies (sign on the door reads “No Idiots”)—if you’re looking for a record, Val will find it for you. He’s got clients all over the world and roughly 4 million records in his giant warehouse of musical treasures, so the trip to Upper Darby is beyond worth the drive. 49 Garrett Road.
Philadelphia Record Exchange, Fishtown
This longtime Philly vinyl spot is known for their killer combo of a curated selection at reasonable prices, all housed in an old-school, music-first environment. Go here if you want to spend some time digging for records in comfort—they’ve been known to wheel chairs throughout the aisles to make your hunt a relaxing experience. 1524 Frankford Avenue.
Long in the Tooth, Rittenhouse
Aside from having the coolest name out there, this place has a great selection of out-of-print books alongside the packed and varied music inventory. They order new stock every day, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, owner Nick will work try to find it for you. Be sure to say hi to Jugend, the store dog/mascot, on your way out! 2027 Sansom Street.
Main Street Music, Manayunk
With music always pumping inside, this shop’s got a great energy—even if it means you can’t really hear anything at the listening stations inside. The pared down collection of vinyl features amazing finds at insanely low prices made even lower if you’re an XPN member (10 percent off everything). 4444 Main Street.
Princeton Record Exchange, Princeton
Inside this slightly-claustrophobic-yet-charming store, you’ll find a great variety of records both new and used, especially great soundtracks. What the store lacks in space and organization, it makes up for with its super friendly and knowledgable staff, always willing to offer a guiding hand in your musical perusing. 20 South Tulane Street.
Repo Records, South Street
This beloved South Street stalwart has a massive and well-organized inventory of records, with listening stations around the store so you can take your vinyl for a spin before buying. Don’t miss the Budget Basement for cheap (but still good-quality) records and CDs. 538 South Street.
Beautiful World Syndicate, East Passyunk
Incense wafts through the air as you peruse this one-story selection of records ranging from classical to jazz to country to hip hop. Inventory moves quickly here, with new selections coming in every week, so be sure to snatch up a rare find if you happen upon one. 1619 East Passyunk Avenue.
Siren Records, Doylestown
This Doylestown mainstay is a go-to for a great variety of music, whether you’re looking for some new vinyl in near-mint condition or want to hear some local artists perform. There’s a frequent buyers club, which gets you perks and freebies if you happen to get hooked. 25 East State Street.
Newtown Book & Record Exchange, Newtown
For the record lover who can do without the grunge factor, look no further. This book and music shop is clean, well-lit, and super organized. Grab a coffee next door, and step into this cozy shop if you’re looking for current music on vinyl; if you’re lucky you just might get lucky and uncover a rare find or two. (Grateful Dead, anyone?) 102 South State Street.